Monday, December 30, 2019

Midwest 311

Will you look at that gorgeous apple!

The crimson blush is so saturated that the prominent lenticel dots look white in stark contrast.

A relief map of red-brown crackles resemble scars.

You can feel them with your fingertips, like a Braille interpretation of a Jackson Pollock painting.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Ludacrisp *

In the midst of the tedious Age of HoneyCrispySweetieCrunch®, the name of this apple made me laugh. At least someone has a sense of humor!

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Caney Fork Limbertwig

Mottled red-orange apple with long thin stem

This is an interesting looking apple by many metrics.

Large and round, with really no perceptible ribbing, the Caney Fork Limbertwig is a light lemon yellow about two-fifths blushed with the mottled orange red that you see.

Dark lenticels brood within the blush. They are raised bumps in the unblushed yellow.

And check out that long, skinny stem.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

What's On Tap

Customers selecting apples from cardboard boxes at indoor market
Apples at Somerville's Winter Market earlier today

There are fifteen different kinds of apples for sale until 2 pm today at Somerville's Winter Market, unless they have run out.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Mostly Harmless

Earth rising over the Moon.

On December 2 of this year, when things are usually pretty quiet here, the traffic to this little blog suddenly went through the roof.

On Twitter, Matt Haughey, who has a preposterous 28 thousand followers, had tweeted some very nice things about my blog.

Temporary internet fame ensued.

Monday, December 9, 2019

The Two Sisters

Two apples, one round and red, the other cylindrical and a mix of peach and green
Once upon a time there were two sisters, Lucy Glo and Lucy Rose.

Lucy Glo was the tangy one, Lucy Rose the sweet.

Or so they say. Today, we'll see.

Friday, December 6, 2019

A good many apples

It's easy to see a list of all the apples I review on this blog, if you are reading this on a desktop computer.

A long tasting table, with scores of different apples.

Just scroll down enough and you'll see the list in the right-hand sidebar.

Some of you are reading this on a phone or tablet and the sidebar is hidden.

For you, all my apples (as of today) are listed below as clickable links.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Lucy Rose

I had to travel all the way to Colorado to find this apple from Washington State.

Apple with saturated crimson peel sliced to show magenta flesh. An unfolded Swiss Army knife is also in the picture.

Lucy Rose, and her sister Lucy Glo, are in supermarkets in many parts of the U.S. They have not, however, made it to eastern Massachusetts.

This does seem to be the Year of Red Flesh here at Adam's Apples, does it not? Lucy Glo is also red fleshed, though she is otherwise unlike her sister.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Yes, we have no bananas

Yellow apple with peachy blush and extremely lobed ribbing

Behold, not for the first time, Calville Blanc d'Hiver, the classic French cooking apple.

I'm glad to have two of these, but also disappointed. Here's why.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Season's end

Bagged apples in bulk, and bins of apples and other produce, on tables in a parking lot while the open back of a truck gapes in the background.
Beneath the grey November sky, the last farmers market of the season held court today in a parking lot in Davis Square, Somerville.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Lucy Glo *

Curiously colored apple, glossy, pastel orange, pink, and green.

What's striking about this apple? It's the unusual color—a "glo" that is the result of a pastel orange-pink color peering through an otherwise pale green peel.

(Click on any photo for a closer look.)

This look reminds me of the tan exterior of the Pink Pearl. Which raises an interesting question...

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Hundreds of apples

A large pile of apples spilling out of an open wooden pen

Excuse me, but I am closing in on a minor milestone: 300 unique apples reviewed on this site.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Western Slope Honeycrisp

I was in Boulder (Colorado) for less than 20 minutes when I first heard praise for "western slope Honeycrisps," the best apples in the world.

Apple on a rock with a distant mountain peak in the background

Within the hour, I'd heard it again, from my landlady. She had one ready for me.

Best apple in the world: that's debatable. But it was the best Honeycrisp I have ever had. (And we now know what they like to eat in Boulder!)

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Bite Me *

Apple with streaky red blush over yellow.

In the 17th Century, left-wing puritans would frequently find themselves before magistrates for disrupting church services, refusing to pay tithes, and otherwise resisting the public order.

Then they would dig deeper holes for themselves by addressing the judge with the egalitarian "thee" instead of the respectful "you."

It is perhaps in this spirit that Steven Edholm, the originator of today's apple, informs me that the correct spelling is, all caps, "BITE ME!" including an obligatory exclamation point.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Sungold *

Yellow apple with patches of red-pink blus.

Behold this large apple, shapely and tapered (if a little lopsided), a cheerful yellow with patches of orange-pink blush.

Russetted lenticels stand out against the light background, and there is a very small amount of ribbing.

Monday, November 4, 2019

C2 Leader

The top of a red apple, with "C2 Leader" written with a sharpie marker.

You has to eat a peck o sharpie to be a nappleman true, as John Chapman once said.

Today's sharpie was wielded by Will in Central Massachusetts.

Friday, November 1, 2019

E3 and E4

Wouldn't you say these are the same apple?

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Tuesday, October 29, 2019


Bins filled with 8 different kinds of apples, red, yellow, orange, green

It's a fine time of year for apples.

Saturday, October 26, 2019


Top of an apple, including stem and leaves, with "E5 HD RD" written on the peal.

Will, from Central Massachusetts, sent me these (and some other apples) from his home orchard seeking to know what they might be.

They are from his tree E5 and are supposed to be Red Delicious ("RD") from a tree purchased from Home Depot ("HD"). You do not have to be a pomologist to know these are not those.

So, what are they?

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Three more from Josh

Dark red conical apple with russeted topOblate apple with partial red blush and a few bruisesRound yellow apple with partial streaky orange blush.

Josh has been sending me apples this year from his orchard in western Washington: one last summer, and six this fall

I've already written about the first three of the six, which included a second bite for me of Tompkins King.

There was also a mystery apple that I think could be the great Ashmead's Kernel. (Others disagree.)

The second trio, below, also includes one apple that Josh knows for sure. It is Kingston Black, a famous cider apple.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Will's 1920

The top of a yellow apple, with the number "1920" written on it with a black marker..

Today I am tasting the first of a shipment of mystery apples from Will, who grew these in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, near Worcester.

Will got ahold of me hoping for some help IDing his crop.

I warned him that he'd probably be disappointed, since I'm not much of an apple sleuth. He sent his apples anyway. The provisional names are his.

Monday, October 21, 2019

It's raining apples

the apple blogger's complaint

Four apples
Clockwise from right: Ashmead's Kernel, Macoun, Wickson, Baldwin

It is glorious October! At this point in the season my refrigerator overflows with Ashmead's Kernel, Macoun, Wickson, and Baldwin.

But can I eat them? I can not.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Ashmead's Kernel mystery

Two russeted, colored apples, similar but with some differences.

The purpose of today's apple adventure is not to decide which is best, but rather what is what.

I spotted some similarities between Ashmead's Kernel and an unidentified variety that came my way.

Some of you, gentle readers, begged to differ.

So, I report, you decide. What is this guy?

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Three from Josh

Small pale yellow appleLarge orange-red appleSmall russet-and-orange apple

This is shaping up to be the Year of People Sending Me Apples.

This past summer Josh sent me what was probably Duchess of Oldenburg from his Eastern Washington orchard.

Josh thought so too. Hey, I got one right! And now the floodgates are opened.

I do not mind at all (far from it), but for the record let me explain why I probably cannot identify your mystery apple even if I have one to taste.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Tompkins King

Classically shaped red-orange apple.

When a reader named Josh packed up a care package for me from his orchard in western Washington, he threw in Tompkins King (aka King) because I had said (in my 2013 review) that I would like to try it again.

This Tompkins is large, ribbed, and classically shaped, if a bit broad in the beam.

It's a naturally green apple almost entirely covered with a blush of very fine streaks, orange-red. Look closely to see many regular tan lenticel dots. It is firm and fragrant.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Saturday, October 12, 2019

One misty moisty morning

Bins of apples damp from a mist or light rain.
Some of the choices in the mist at the Union Square farmers market this morning.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Chenango Strawberry

Round, squat apple with streaky red blush over green-yellow

I had my first Chenango Strawberry two years ago, picked two weeks later than this one (which dates from mid September).

At the time wondered if my apple was a little too long off the tree, and wished for a second chance.

Well I got my wish, and I think this is a slightly better version. What I learned, however, is that I pretty much nailed it the first time.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Even the pips are red

Four red-tinged apple pips

I guess it is the Year of the Red Fleshed Harvest here at Adam's Apples. Behold the red-tinged pips of the Redfield apple.

Saturday, October 5, 2019


Deep red apple with russet and lenticel spots

This small, classically shaped apple has a deep red blush decorated with a rugged archipelago of russet and distinctive light lenticel dots. The peel has a satiny gloss.

My Redfield is moderately ribbed and has an open, and deep, calyx. It smells faintly of cinnamon, perhaps residue of actual cinnamon from baked goods in the farm shop where I bought the apple.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Welcome to autumn!

It's apple season, welcome to Adam's Apples! If you are curious about this fruit you have come to the right place.

Here you can find more than 260 different varieties described in my opinionated catalog. If that's more than you can chew, you might visit my seasonal guide or my Michelin-style rating system for apples.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Frostbite and Williams Pride

Two apples, one at right very dark, the other also dark but streaky.

Most of the time, my comparison posts start by introducing the apples and asking, which is best?

This isn't that kind of thing. Instead the question is, will these apples go together as well as I imagine?

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Seeing Red

Shelburne Farm, in Stow, Massachusetts, is on a tear with red-fleshed apples, and here are three of them.

Three red-fleshed apples, sliced
Left to right: Scarlet Surprise, Pink Pearl, Firecracker

The photo above buttresses three of my observations about red-fleshed apples generally.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Starkey **

Large oblate apple, streaky red, with a green leaf still attached to its thick stem.

The Starkeys are particularly good this year, the way the Baldwins were last year. So I thought I'd taste one again.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Sun and Shadow

Bins of apples in the sun, some in shadow, with stacks of vegetables on a shelf in back of the apples

The light plays across the apples at farmers market yesterday.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Firecracker (Bill's Red Flesh Crab)

An oval apple with a glossy deep red peel cut to show pink flesh.
This small, crabapple-sized fruit, with its glossy deep red peel and striking pink flesh, is gorgeous. But is it good to eat?

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Ellison's Orange

Two orange-red apples. The one on the left has broad saturated stripes.The broad stripes on the apple at left do not appear to be usual, but I wanted you to see it alongside the more-typical apple on the right. Both are Ellison's Orange.

Consequently there are two examples of this English apple to enjoy.

These fruits are on the small side of large, a cheerful spring green layered with a subdued orange-red blush and a fair amount of rusetting.

The surface finish ranges from matte to rough.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

The View from Outside

Yellow green apple with distinct darker and lighter halves
It's no trick of the light. This yellow-green apple (a French cider apple with a familiar name) really does present a two-toned face to the world.

The lower left two-thirds is distinctly darker, with a jagged but clear boundary.

That darker area has a curious translucent quality, as though the apple were a sponge that had been partially moistened. What is going on?

Monday, September 9, 2019

Scarlet Surprise (Bill's Red Flesh) *

A red apple sliced open to reveal pink flesh. THe pink grows lighter towards the core, but there is a dark red spot near the very center.
Note the dark red bulls-eye near the center.
Outwardly, Scarlet Surprise is a round, red apple, pretty if not remarkable.

Now imagine biting in to discover that the color is more than skin deep. Surprise!

To avoid surprises, the grower had sliced samples on display. But the true surprise lies in this apple's interesting flavors.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Rave (First Kiss) *

A red apple with tiny light spots.

Suddenly, this new variety is everywhere.

My supermarket has them in the merely large size, and the grocery chain Trader Joe's has big ones for sale loose and little ones by the bag.

Stemilt, the grower with one of two North American licenses for this apple, sent me six huge ones, and that's what I have before me today.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Monday, August 26, 2019

Early McIntosh vs. Paul Red Smackdown

Two round red apples

McIntosh is still the King of Autumn in these parts. Consequently, many contenders vie for the role of August regent before Mac's royal debut in September.

Mac isn't available to eat now, so the best we can do is to rate Early McIntosh (L) against Paula Red (R).

Paula is both (1) the most Mac-like of the August earlies, and (2) the only other Mac-wannabee available when Early Mac is ripe.